Dinosaur Sculptures at Crystal World – Spinosaurus

Spinosaurus (‘spine lizard’) is a genus of spinosaurid dinosaur that lived in what now is North Africa during the Cenomanian to upper Turonianstages of the Late Cretaceousperiod, about 99 to 93.5 million years ago. The genus was known first from Egyptian remains discovered in 1912 and described by German palaeontologistErnst Stromer in 1915, but these remains were destroyed in World War II.

Spinosaurus is the longest known terrestrial carnivore; other large carnivores comparable to Spinosaurus include theropods such as Tyrannosaurus and Giganotosaurus. The most recent study suggests that S. aegyptiacus reached 14 metres in length and 7.4 metric tons in body mass. The skull of Spinosaurus was long, low, and narrow, similar to that of a modern crocodilian, and bore straight conical teeth with no serrations. It would have had large, robust forelimbs bearing three-fingered hands, with an enlarged claw on the first digit. The distinctive neural spines of Spinosaurus, which were long extensions of the vertebrae (or backbones), grew to at least 1.65 meters long and were likely to have had skin connecting them, forming a sail-like structure, although some authors have suggested that the spines were covered in fat and formed a hump. The hip bones of Spinosaurus were reduced, and the legs were very short in proportion to the body. Its long and narrow tail was deepened by tall, thin neural spines and elongated chevrons, forming a flexible fin or paddle-like structure.

Spinosaurus is known to have eaten fish, and most scientists believe that it hunted both terrestrial and aquatic prey. Evidence suggests that it was semiaquatic, how capable it was of swimming has been strongly contested. Spinosaurus‘s leg bones had osteosclerosis (high bone density), allowing for better buoyancy control. Multiple functions have been put forward for the dorsal sail, including thermoregulation and display; either to intimidate rivals or attract mates. It lived in a humid environment of tidal flats and mangrove forests alongside many other dinosaurs, as well as fish, crocodylomorphs, lizards, turtles, pterosaurs, and plesiosaurs.

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